Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby - Topic Overview
It's best to keep these specific guidelines in mind,
- Don't add spices, salt, or sugar to your baby's
- Don't give your baby cow's milk or
honey until 1 year of age.
As you introduce new foods, it is important to pay attention
to your baby's cues. When your baby's head turns away from a spoonful of food,
don't force it. But try again later. Let your baby tell you when he or she is
full. Also, it may help to introduce new foods when your baby is well rested
and there are no distractions, such as a TV.
As your baby learns
to feed himself or herself, keep in mind that your job is to provide a variety
of nutritious foods, but your baby will decide how much to eat. It may take
more than 10 times before your child accepts a new food.4
Your baby will quickly gain new eating skills, such as chewing,
swallowing, and using cups and utensils, at about 6 to 12 months of age. Offer
your baby a variety of nutritious foods and gradually allow him or her to
explore different tastes and textures. Try to be patient as your baby
experiments and learns, and be tolerant of messes. Your baby will likely enjoy
playing with a spoon, but most of the food will fall off it. It's natural for
your baby to "make a mess" while learning about food. Until your baby can
handle a spoon better, you can give your baby a clean spoon to hold while you
feed him or her with a different spoon.
To help reduce your
cleanup, use a child's high chair that has a detachable tray and raised rims.
The rims on the tray help keep dishes and food from sliding off. And you can
carry the tray to the sink for cleaning. Cover the seat with a removable,
washable pad. Also, think about covering the floor around the high chair.
Remember—your child is learning by experimenting.